This is the Coat of Arms of the Amherst family. The first time I saw it, I was really flabbergasted. I originally come from the Netherlands where a big discussion is going on about Zwarte Piet, to be translated as Black Pete. This character is the servant of St.Nicolas who is the bringer of gifts to the children of the Netherlands in December. (Not at Christmas, but on the 5th of December, the eve of the Saints day of St.Nicolas.)
Black Pete fell out of grace by a lot op people, it is considered to be a racist thing. While the white man (St.Nicolas) is a wise man with a lot of knowledge, Black Pete is a dumbo. Because of being stupid he is supposed to be funny. Normally Black Pete is played by white people with black painted faces. A bit like the Black and White Minstrels, a music group from a few decades ago. They were not political correct, so their show on tv was abandoned.
So to see this coat of arms in the Pearl Center in Brighstone on the Isle of Wight was a bit of a shock for me considering all this. I planned to write an article about it. I have found the Coat of Arms belonged to the wealthy Amherst family. I know they owned the St.John's House, near Ryde on the Isle of Wight. They probably owned the building where you can find the Pearl Center too. A pity I can't find any proof of this.
The family Amherst has been a very influential family from the 16th century onwards. I can write a lot about them, but I discovered that an excellent article has been written by Nick Kingsley.
No need to repeat what he wrote.
It does leave me with the question: Should this image not be removed from the walls of the Pearl Center? I don't think it's something to be proud of.